look up - stars

You're cold, maybe you just missed the sun.
You fall, feeling like it's just begun.
So far, keeping it together's been enough;
Look up, rain is falling, looks like love...



"For what value has compassion that does not take its object in its arms?"

-antoine de saint-exupéry


add to the beauty

when we saw sara groves recently, she talked about a guy during the bosnia/serbia war who, in the middle of the city, sat down with his cello and started playing. now, besides the fact that I play cello... my heart desires so much to be that person... who, when everything is just messy and painful and ugly around, radiates beauty nonetheless. because beauty points to God. and I want nothing more than for people to know God. to fall in love with God. to be changed by God. to be healed by God. because I know from experience that all of that is possible and that it both fulfills us and brings God glory. a quote from a sara groves song that is actually a quote from john eldridge - "the glory of God is man fully alive". Not that the entire glory of God is based on man being alive, but that man being fully alive displays the glory of God. mmmm... yes please!


the shadow proves the sunshine - switchfoot

Sunshine, won't you be my mother
Sunshine, come and help me sing
My heart is darker than these oceans
My heart is frozen underneath

We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight,
Dry eyes in the pouring rain
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways
Hold fast to the break of day light were
The shadow proves the sunshine

Oh Lord, why did you forsake me?
Oh Lord, don't be far away away
Storm clouds gathering beside me
Please Lord, don't look the other way

Crooked souls trying to stay up straight
Dry eyes in the pouring rain
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways
Hold fast to the break of day light were
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me

Crooked souls trying to stay up straight
Dry eyes in the pouring rain
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways
Hold fast to the break of day light were
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me

Shine on me,
Let my shadows prove the sunshine


the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

"Condemn not their mistakes as does an historian judging a bygone age. Who would blame a cedar tree for being no longer a seed, a young shoot, or a pliant stem? Let be, and from mistake to mistake will rise the forest of cedars scattering upon the breeze the incense of its birds."

the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

Thus I understood that they needed silence; for in silence alone does a man's truth bind itself together and strike root. And, above all, Time imports, as in the suckling of a child. For even mother love grows out of many months of suckling. Who, at a given moment, can see the child growing? No one. 'Tis only those who come from elsewhere whom you hear exclaiming, "How he has grown!" But neither mother nor father has noticed him growing. He has become, in Time; and at each moment was that which he had to be.



"love wash over a multitude of things... make us whole again..."



I think a good definition of melancholy would be this:

sad and fiercely hopeful

the end... together

watch out, here comes some prose! but first, a song quote :) there is a song by the band Stars which ends with the refrain "we all come to an end, and we all end together". When I first heard this song, I was just hit with an overwhelming sensation that nobody dies alone... in fact, I almost just started crying it was such a strong sensation... and I think some actual thoughts have worked themselves out of my head finally...

nobody dies alone, because having bartered our lives for something other than itself we are emptied of ourselves and filled with everything we touch, God, the people we love, the animals we love, the things we trade our life for... I am full of God, full of Trina, full of my parents, full of Teagan, full of Substantial, full of my sister and her husband, full of Brendan and Sarah and Alina and Marc and Elise and Natalie and Deimante and Jolanta and Erika and Alesha and Bridget and Niki and Kevin and Bekah and Emily and Shawnda and Drew and Suzanne and Kendra and Cheryl and Peter and Jen and David Earl and Mindy and Renata and Jolanta and so many other people I can't even think of them all... they have traded their life for me and I for them and thus we are all filled with each other and no matter what else happens in life, we will never be alone. I think maybe the reason that it's so important that we are "pieced out" as Alina put it, is so that we have room within us for those we tame. A cedar tree takes the earth and the water and the air and everything it experiences and transmutes it into itself, yet never becomes anything other than a cedar tree... and I do the same... so to some extent, there is a blurry line where I end and you begin... because when I look in your eyes, I see familiarity.



there is something magical and wonderful about having pieces of you scattered all around the world... even if sometimes those pieces seem so very far away...

hymn - jars of clay

Oh refuge of my hardened heart
Oh fast pursuing lover come
As angels dance 'round Your throne
My life by captured fare You own

Not silhouette of trodden faith
Nor death shall not my steps be guide
I'll pirouette upon my grave
For in Your path I'll run and hide

Oh gaze of love so melt my pride
That I may in Your house but kneel
And in my brokenness to cry
Spring worship unto Thee

When beauty breaks the spell of pain
The bludgeoned heart shall burst in vain
But not when love be pointed king
And truth shall Thee forever reign

Oh gaze of love so melt my pride
That I may in Your house but kneel
And in my brokenness to cry
Spring worship unto Thee

Sweet Jesus carry me away
From cold of night, and dust of day
In ragged hour or salt worn eye
Be my desire, my well sprung lye

Oh gaze of love so melt my pride
That I may in Your house but kneel
And in my brokenness to cry
Spring worship unto Thee
Spring worship unto Thee
Spring worship unto Thee


the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

"Sire, I once lived in a hamlet on a smiling hillside; a hamlet firmly rooted in the earth, under a sky that was its own, a hospitable sky. It was a village built to last, and lasting. The lustre of long use gleamed on the lips of our wells, on our doorsteps, on the curved brims of our fountains. Then unbewares one night something stirred in the bedrock of our village; it seemed that the ground underfoot was waking to life again, reshaping itself. What had been made was once more in the making. We trembled, not so much fearing for ourselves as for all those things we had labored to perfect; things for which we had been bartering ourselves lifelong. As for me, I was a carver of metal, and I feared for the great silver ewer on which I had toiled two years; for whose perfection I had bartered two years of sleepless nights. Another feared for the deep-piled carpets he had rejoiced to weave. Every day he unfurled them in the sun; he was proud of having bartered somewhat of his gnarled flesh for that rich flood of color, deep and diverse as the waves of the sea. Another feared for the olive trees he had planted. But, Sire, I make bold to say, not one of us feared death; we all feared for our foolish little things. We were discovering that life has a meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself. Thus the death of the gardener does no harm to the tree; but if you threaten the tree the gardener dies twice. There was an old story-teller amongst us, who knew the fairest tales of the desert and had embellished them. And, being sonless, was alone in knowing them. When the earth began to slip he trembled for those poor ballads that never again would be sung by any man. For now the earth had wakened to life, it went on remolding itself and a great yellow tide came creeping down the hillside. And what of himself, I ask you, can a man barter to embellish a yellow flood that, slowly swirling, swallows all? What may he build on a formless moving mass?"


a new poem

coffee for you
coffee for me
coffee enough
to make us all pee


paint - part III :)

if I could paint the way I feel about my wife, and I showed you my painting, you would repent of your love for Monet's "Waterlillies", Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and Klimt's "Kiss", and renounce them as uninspiring and dull next to the painting I had painted.


I wish more Christians understood that in order to have real community and real family it is necessary to lay out all your junk on the table in front of each other (not in front of everyone, but in front of some), and to realize that even though you carry so much baggage and hurt, that even with all that, God still loves us, and we still can love each other... it is a tremendously healing and bonding experience to love another person though all their crap, and to be loved through all of yours. It makes my heart so much lighter knowing that some people understand this idea. I hope that it spreads like nothing else. And not just the idea, but that people would start experiencing it and experiencing community and family in a way they never imagined. I pray that in even just a couple years' time that "the church", meaning the group of Christians that exists, would be a picture of reality and honesty and care and healing and LIFE!!!! instead of the picture of condemnation and exclusiveness and coldness and inauthenticity it so often is now. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER - GOD WILL USE YOU IN SPITE OF, AND MAYBE EVEN BECAUSE YOU ARE WEAK. PEOPLE WILL LOVE YOU. GOD ALWAYS HAS AND NEVER WILL STOP LOVING YOU. I hope that these things start to grip peoples' hearts and that people really start understanding who God is (as much as we can), and who we are in relation to Him... so much could change....



this world is so fucked up and I get so overwhelmed sometimes with the sheer weight of pain and sadness running rampant all over the world... everyone has so much pain and baggage and it just kills my heart... I can't express the feeling in my heart just thinking of the people we know who are hurting and broken and are SOOOO dear to us... not to mention our own issues... it just makes me think... why? why does our world have to be SOOOO FUCKING PAINFUL?

and I know there are a million and a half answers to that question... but sometimes when you are in the middle of all the shit, they just seem so inadequate... and that's ok... it's ok to hurt and to feel and to not understand sometimes...

"How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, {Having} sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider {and} answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the {sleep of} death, And my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," {And} my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me." -Psalm 13

Be still and know He is God... sometimes it suffices just to know that He is - and you don't need anything, a word or a sign or a miracle - it is enough just to know that He is.


what the...

it's snowing in MARCH!!!! Is there something wrong here?



all we want is to live life, to love God and to love people... with everything that we are and that we have, that is what we want...

is that so unusual?


I just thought everyone should know, there is a "Christian candy" called "Noah's Nuggets"... do we need any more proof that these people are completely out of touch with reality? I mean, come on... let's imagine this conversation... "hey joe, whatcha eating?" "hey bob! I'm eating Noah's Nuggets!"

Good lord! "I'm Eating Noah's Nuggets!!!!"




I seem to go in phases of processing and writing... I will spend a month or two processing everything that is going on in life, and then the next month, I'll write like two blog entries per day as everything starts gushing out of my head...

this is one of those processing phases...

the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

I pity you in your disputes and reconciliations, for they take place on a plane other than that of love. For love is, above all, a communion in silence, and to love is to contemplate. There comes an hour when my sentry weds the city. And comes an hour when you meet your beloved - and its import lies not in one gesture or another, in one expression or another of her face, in one word or another that she utters, but in her.

There comes an hour when her name alone suffices as a prayer; no further words are needed. And comes an hour when you ask for nothing, neither her lips nor her smile, neither her gentle arms' embrace nor the fragrance of her presence. it suffices that she is.

But women there are who bid you justify yourself and who sit in judgment on your acts. They confuse love with possession. What good were it to answer? What joy will you have in meeting such an one? Your desire was to be received in silence; not for the merit of this gesture or another, this quality or another, this word or another - but because, with all your unworthiness, you are what you are.

the church

This is a response to a comment a friend left on a previous blog of mine... here is the main question asked:

Is the church a group of well meaning people that are doing an earnest job of following a road map (bible) that is broken, incomplete, or skewed in some way?


Is the church so far from really knowing God that they are just way off base?
so... here we go :)


well, I think a lot of things play into this. I think in any case, when you are reading or hearing another person's thoughts, you are never going to understand exactly what they meant all the time. Therefore I don't think anyone here will ever completely understand the Bible in its entirety. We will always get some things wrong. So yes, I think faulty interpretation on everyone's part is a big part of all the crap that organized religion has become in so many cases. I think faulty interpretation can certainly be minimized by reading carefully and keeping in mind things like culture at the time it was written, context of the passages to the rest of the book or the rest of the Bible, etc. But I don't think we will ever get everything right.

I think in terms of the interpretation handed to you through the church, this is also a really powerful factor in the whole scheme of things. Having lived in another culture, we (and I'm sure you guys as well) realized how easy it is to add a lot of what culture says you should be to your conception of who you actually are. It is really easy to never even realize this unless you experience something outside your own culture, and you can begin to pick apart "which of these pieces is me, and which is america, or american christianity". I think particularly in America, a lot of people just never do this, because they never experience anything beyond their own culture, and so all of those things they just accept unconditionally because they have always been there in the culture, they go on accepting unconditionally because they are just reinforced by everyone around them who grew up in the same culture or have been immersed in it so long they have become accustomed to it.

This applies to the church in america too, because really it has become its own subculture. And I think when you start to pick away at what is really you and what is your culture, or even what is really the Bible and what is christian subculture, you start to realize that there is a lot there that you just took for granted and realize it has no place there at all. Or at least, it is certainly not REQUIRED in order to be you or to be a christian or whatever. Anyway, I think when a person starts seeing those distinctions it can be really easy to get lost in all the shit to see that there is SO MUCH that was touted as mandatory that was so trivial that it's difficult to see any of it as really true, or to pick out what is and isn't.

You start to realize that our culture in general, both religious and secular, is very one-sided, and that it doesn't allow much for anything which doesn't fit the standard social rules. Which is really hard, when you start to pick away that stuff and realize that you were made in such a way that you don't fit within those standard social rules. And frankly, that is a really stressful experience, and so it is easy to just dismiss everything about that culture as wrong or bad, because you have such a strong reaction to it (we still dream frequently about just becoming hermits so we don't have to deal with peoples' expectations).

Anyway, overall this can be a really positive experience, as it causes you to question and really figure out for yourself what is true and what isn't true as long as you remain open to the idea that some of it might be true even though it's hard to determine what it is.

So, regarding the accuracy or validity of the Bible I think in my own life, I've found that what I have read there and felt that I understood echoes real life and my heart and what I have learned through life. I certainly don't understand everything that is there, or everything that happens in life, or really everything about anything. I understand some things about some things :) And I think my understanding of some things has changed over time. But I would say, never stop reading it carefully, thinking about it, praying about it, processing it, talking about it with other people who may have different viewpoints to offer. I think that if you REALLY want to know God, He will give you what you need when you need it and from whence you need it.


living in a bubble

well, I just wrote a whole blog and then accidentally erased it before submitting it. bluh. it was about this:


Essentially it was just that this idea is condescending and fake and enabling people to run away from the real battle between good and evil and that I would want nothing to do with a town like that and that people are blind and fight for everything that is unimportant while leaving the important things to get slaughtered.

that's about it.


whee :)

big boisterous badgers while butchering blue cheese set off for finland feeling like floating in the breeze. time flew by until at last fish feet felt frozen flounder, and freckles danced upon the shore like juicy jelly jam.

tee hee :)))